Athletics ace wins national title

An athletics talent is basking in the glory of winning a national title.

Thursday, 30th June 2016, 6:10 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 11:29 pm

Louisa James struck gold in the women’s hammer at the England Athletics U23 Championships in Bedford.

James, who will celebrate her 22nd birthday next Tuesday, again went over the 60-metre mark with a throw of 60.35m - more than two metres further than runner-up Annabelle Palmer (Notts).

“I was happy with the win,” said James, who is the Sussex senior record holder with a throw of 62.30m in 2014. “It was good to get over 60 metres, I’m just waiting for it to go a bit further.”

The victory was, in fact, her second in successive weekends because James also triumphed at the South of England AA U20/Senior Championships eight days earlier.

On that occasion, she produced a winning throw of 59.73m - again more than two metres clear of the next best performer, senior competitor Pippa Wingate.

Last weekend, James finished seventh in the women’s hammer at the British Championships in Birmingham with a best effort of 57.49m.

“I think I’m ranked ninth so seventh wasn’t a bad result; it was just a bad throw which was more annoying,” added James, who threw 60.69m for Hastings Athletic Club in a Southern Athletics League meeting during May.

The Sedlescombe-based athlete has a few more chances to threaten her PB during the remainder of the summer season and one of the highlights will be the England Athletics AAA & UK CAU Senior Championships in Bedford at the end of July.

James won gold in the girls’ hammer at the IAAF World Youth Championships and Commonwealth Youth Games in 2011, and also competed at the European Junior Championships two years later.

The former Sussex Coast College Hastings student is now two-thirds of the way through a primary education degree at Brighton University and says her throwing has taken a bit of a back seat as a result of the demands of her studies.

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